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Business
Investing
Management

Venture Stories

Updated 5 days ago

Business
Investing
Management
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Venture Stories by Village Global takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc/podcast for more.

Read more

Venture Stories by Village Global takes you inside the world of venture capital and technology, featuring enlightening interviews with entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry leaders. The podcast is hosted by Village Global partner and co-founder Erik Torenberg. Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc/podcast for more.

iTunes Ratings

69 Ratings
Average Ratings
55
5
4
5
0

Please get a better microphone

By jlw12313 - Feb 18 2020
Read more
The interviews are pretty good but my goodness the audio sounds like it was recorded on a 90s tape recorder. And the video interviews are way worse, stick to inperson

Great stuff but need better mics

By NoIceInmydrinkplease - Nov 24 2019
Read more
Feel free to invest in your equipment.

iTunes Ratings

69 Ratings
Average Ratings
55
5
4
5
0

Please get a better microphone

By jlw12313 - Feb 18 2020
Read more
The interviews are pretty good but my goodness the audio sounds like it was recorded on a 90s tape recorder. And the video interviews are way worse, stick to inperson

Great stuff but need better mics

By NoIceInmydrinkplease - Nov 24 2019
Read more
Feel free to invest in your equipment.
Cover image of Venture Stories

Venture Stories

Latest release on Feb 23, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

Rank #1: Crypto Stories: The Bull Case For Ethereum with Spencer Noon, Cyrus Younessi and Tony Sheng

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The guests on today’s episode are Spencer Noon (@spencernoon), an investor at Doggie Tail Crypto Capital and Cyrus Younessi (@cyounessi1), Director of Research and Trading at Scalar Capital.

Co-hosting today’s episode is Tony Sheng (@tonysheng) who leads product at Decentraland. He also publishes analyses on the business and strategy of crypto at tonysheng.com and is one of Village’s Network Leaders.

Spencer and Cyrus start out by laying out the theses underlying their bullishness on Ethereum. They give some context on Ethereum through a historical lens and discuss the properties that lend it to scaling well. They also debunk some of the common misconceptions about Ethereum.

The four talk about where they would like to see development focused within the Ethereum ecosystem, what obstacles Ethereum faces, and what an Ethereum-killer might look like.

They also discuss smart contracts and where Spencer and Cyrus disagree with the fat money crowd on the relative merits of Ethereum vs. Bitcoin as a store of value or as working capital.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Sep 10 2018

56mins

Play

Rank #2: Live Episode: Keith Rabois on Career Strategy, Identifying Talent and Evaluating Markets

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This episode of Venture Stories was recorded in front of a live audience in San Francisco in October 2018. Keith was interviewed by Village Global partner and co-founder, Erik Torenberg.

In the episode they cover a number of topics, and Keith (as usual) is very insightful.

Keith breaks down some of the successes that mentees of his have had over the past few years. Many of them came from non-technical backgrounds and non-elite schools. He talks about their career trajectory and which inflection points led to their advancement and how young people in similar situations can model their careers after them.

Erik explains the four dimensions over which he thinks about career building and where he thinks young people are over-optimizing.

Keith shares what Peter Thiel told him about hiring while the two were on a run around the Stanford campus shortly after Keith joined PayPal. He talks about how as a manager he challenges the people working for him, and why as an employee you should always want to feel like you’re pushing the boundaries of what you’re capable of.

They move on to what makes a good startup idea and the three factors that Keith uses to evaluate business ideas.

They also take questions from the audience where Keith addresses work-life balance and why creating a startup is like casting and creating a movie.
Quotable lines from this episode:

“You don't want to be the best at what you do, you want to be the only one that does what you do.”

“If you’re going to start a company and if you believe that the team you build is the company you build — you want to have unfair advantage in evaluating people.”

“VC is one of the best jobs in the world if you’re intellectually curious.”

“[Working in VC] is like learning to play basketball with NBA all-stars.”

“When you want to make a decision, optimize on one variable. Don't make a pros and cons list.”
Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Oct 12 2018

1hr 16mins

Play

Rank #3: Fat Monies: Anti-Contrarianism in Cryptocurrency Investing

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In a first-ever two-hour episode for Venture Stories by Village Global, Erik talks to two of the most interesting crypto thinkers around: Arjun Balaji (@arjunblj), crypto investor, trader and incubator, and Murad Mahmudov (@MustStopMurad), crypto analyst and angel investor.

In this wide-ranging and mind-expanding interview, the three discuss a number of topics relating to cryptocurrencies, effects on government, economic history, and predictions for the future, among many other things including:

- The arguments for Bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies and whether Bitcoin can be toppled
- Why Bitcoin is less like digital gold and more like “digital nuclear weapons”
- Whether Bitcoin will be “the MySpace of money”
- A history of the Austrian school of economics
- The impacts of hard forks on a community
- How competition between monies accelerates capitalism
- Whether blockchain as a technology is overrated or underrated
- The parallels between cryptocurrency and the Asian construction bubble
- Institutional movement into cryptocurrencies
- The psyche of crypto hedge fund managers
- How crypto changes how countries compete for tax revenues

Quotable lines from this episode:

“The creation of a non-sovereign sound money system has the potential to be one of the most significant events in our lifetime.” - AB

“I view money as a good, just like anything else, and I don’t believe we have pure capitalism until we have competition among currencies.” - MM

“Cryptocurrencies in general and in particular Bitcoin are a higher quality form of money.” - MM

“Through the fat money lens, all tokens are cryptocurrencies.” - AB

“The whole market is like a prediction market for which one or few coins will be the long term money winner.” - MM

“Bitcoin is the Schelling point of the market”. - MM

“Despite all the fancy bells and whistles that blockchains enable, the fact that nobody can print more Bitcoin is the greatest innovation here.” - MM

“The idea that money has to be continuously in circulation is completely non-sensical.” -MM

“We’re not trying to build another PayPal here, we’re trying to disrupt central banking.” -MM

“Miners don’t control Bitcoin, businesses don’t control bitcoin, users and full nodes control Bitcoin.” - AB

“As time goes on, everyone is going to become a Bitcoin maximalist whether they like it or not.” - MM

“The number one thing that we can learn from economic history is that if there is an actor that can create more money, they will.” - AB

“If there’s free competition around money then the market would never naturally converge around something [the US Dollar] that is expanding at 6% a year. It’s totally irrational.”

“Just as we witnessed the separation of church and state, in the next 20-30 years we are going to witness the separation of money and state.” - MM

“People who say capitalism is dead or that we are entering the end of capitalism don’t know what they are talking about, because capitalism is going to go into overdrive.” -AB

“What previously took a 200-person team in 2000, took a 100-person team in 2007 and takes a 5- or 10-person team now.” - AB

“We’re entering an era where businesses will be able to be built and run on the internet by one person.” - AB

“These tokens suck as money or are absolutely and utterly useless.” -MM

“Almost all of these tokens were unethical fundraising scams by the founders.” - MM

“This whole thing [the ICO boom] was a form of IQ arbitrage, where people took advantage of these overvalued shit tokens… Do you want to walk around New York and use a different form of currency at each store?” - MM

“Erik, if you’re looking to hold your wealth in the equivalent of gift cards to the Gap, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.” - AB

“The hype around blockchain is nothing more than an indicator that Silicon Valley is largely oriented less around the original counterculture movement and much moreso positioned as a form of opportunistic greed behaviours.” - AB

“The monetary premium that is embedded inside [altcoins] is purely psychosocial, it’s purely cognitive. It’s almost like an ongoing hallucination of our collective unconsciousness.” - MM

“The recurring selling of narratives that Murad mentioned is the core business of most crypto hedge funds. They’re not active traders, they’re just early investors that then sell the dream and then sell their bags on many retail investors.” - AB

“One of my favourite things that Murad has ever said is that blockchains don’t create revenues, they destroy revenues.” - AB

“If your product is open source and your rent is too high, you risk getting forked or re-architected by someone else charging less, and it becomes a race to the bottom.” - MM

“Let’s be honest, on-chain governance is essentially the rule of the rich.” - MM

“No governance is the best governance, or at least for neo-gold.” - MM

-

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Shawn Xu is our researcher, Colin Campbell is our audio engineer, and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Aug 10 2018

2hr 1min

Play

Rank #4: Keith Rabois on How He Invests, Forming a Founding Team, and Funding “Ridiculous” Ideas

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Keith Rabois (@rabois), partner at Founders Fund, joins Erik on this episode. It was recorded live at an On Deck Fellowship event in San Francisco.

They discuss:

- The kinds of companies and founders he looks to fund, including why he wants half of his VC friends to laugh at how ambitious and ridiculous the companies he’s funding are.

- Why going from zero to one involves roughly the same amount of pain no matter whether the “one” the company gets to is tiny or a billion-dollar-plus enterprise.

- Some of the different spaces he’s invested in recently and how he’s navigated the idea maze in different sectors.

- Stories from the early days of PayPal.

- Why he likes regulated markets, and why he says “the more legal risk, the better.”

- How to think about creating a founding team, and why you need to absolutely make sure you and your co-founders agree on first principles.

And of course, they also discuss basketball and politics.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Nov 24 2019

1hr 24mins

Play

Rank #5: All Things Marketplaces with Fabrice Grinda

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Fabrice Grinda (@fabricegrinda), entrepreneur and angel investor, joins Erik on this episode.

They discuss:

- What Fabrice believes about marketplaces and the trend towards verticalization that VCs don’t believe.

- How they evaluate investments and the four criteria that they use to determine whether they will invest or not.

- His breakdown of some of the failed marketplace startups.

- What you need to know if you’re building a marketplace business in 2020.

- His analysis of marketplaces for home school, child care, therapy, construction, and more.

- How this intersects with the future of work and the future of food.

- Why certain legacy marketplaces have managed to stick around.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Feb 05 2020

1hr 15mins

Play

Rank #6: Mental Models with Scott Page

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Erik is joined on this episode by Scott Page (@Scott_E_Page), professor at the University of Michigan and author of The Model Thinker.

They talk about:

* The idea of the wisdom of crowds.

* Why cognitive diversity is important for a wise crowd.

* Whether individual experts or groups of ordinary people make better predictions.

* Which mental models VCs should be using.

* Why Scott says “mastery is knowing when to use the right mental model at the right time.”

* Why, if you’re watching basketball, you may as well be watching people roll a die.

... and much more.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

May 26 2019

47mins

Play

Rank #7: Balaji Srinivasan and Glen Weyl on Identity, Governance, and Radical Markets

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Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis), angel investor and entrepreneur, and Glen Weyl (@glenweyl), economist, Principal Researcher at Microsoft, and author of Radical Markets, join Erik for a fireside chat.

They talk about:

- On which topics they agree or disagree.

- Some of their favorite thinkers.

- Glen’s critique of the libertarian view of the world.

- Balaji’s concept of a person’s whitelist, blacklist, and greenlist.

- What they would change about property law.

- Quadratic finance and quadratic voting.

- Why there is almost no area where the nation-state is the optimal governance entity.

Remember to apply for the winter vintage of our Network Catalyst accelerator! It is a personalized program that features masterclasses from some of the best in Silicon Valley and a dedicated network leader focused on making the introductions you need to turbocharge your company. You can participate in-person in San Francisco or virtually from anywhere around the world.

Find out more and apply at villageglobal.vc/networkcatalyst.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Nov 03 2019

1hr 15mins

Play

Rank #8: Value Hacking and How To Avoid The Fake Growth Epidemic with Mike Maples

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Erik is joined on this episode by Mike Maples (@m2jr) of Floodgate.

The talk about:

- The difference between fake growth and real growth, and how to know which one your company is experiencing.

- Why fake growth has taken hold in so many companies in the Valley, and its broader systemic causes.

- The difference between value hacking and growth hacking.

- Why once you’ve entered the growth stage, it’s next to impossible to go back to the value hacking stage.

- His thoughts on the Thiel vs. Rabois schools of markets.

- His tips for growing SaaS companies.

- How to think about incumbents.

- Why a pivot is not the same thing as a mulligan.

- The reasons for the fact that, in his opinion, there is too much money in VC.

- Why companies are staying private longer.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Grace Chen is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Jul 09 2019

1hr 16mins

Play

Rank #9: Requests For Startups: Marketplaces with Jonathan Swanson and John Kobs

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Jonathan Swanson (@swaaanson), co-founder and chairman of Thumbtack, and John Kobs (@johnkobs), co-founder of Apartment List join Erik to talk all about marketplaces.

John and Jonathan talk about their lessons from running their respective companies about what makes a good marketplace, and how prospective founders can find opportunities in the space. They break down what it takes to get initial supply and demand, and the merits of two-sided marketplaces.

They talk about some of the trends in real estate more broadly and the key limiting factors in marketplace businesses. They talk about their requests for startups in the space, where the opportunities are and what they would stay away from if they were a potential founder.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Mar 07 2019

37mins

Play

Rank #10: A Primer on eSports with John Robinson and Blake Robbins

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Erik is joined on this episode by John Robinson (@RohnJobinson), president and COO of 100 Thieves, and Blake Robbins (@blakeir), partner at Ludlow Ventures.

Blake and John talk about how they got into eSports and what excites them most about the space. They run through some of the unicorns in eSports and the venture firms that saw their potential early. They also discuss how big companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook are or are not getting involved in the space.

The three of them compare and contrast traditional sports leagues, athletes, brands and teams with those in eSports and talk about how the revenue streams differ in eSports versus those of traditional sports. They talk about the applicability of a single team like 100 Thieves across a bunch of different games, comparing it to having a Yankees team in every sport, instead of just baseball.

They mention that contrary to traditional sports, there is something to watch 365 days of the year for fans of an eSports team. They also say that the space is getting more attention as billionaires notice their kids are more excited to meet Ninja (a high-profile gamer) than Michael Jordan or LeBron James.

They finish with some of their requests for startups in the space and Erik asks what they think the future holds for eSports.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Jan 09 2019

1hr 9mins

Play

Rank #11: Elad Gil on How to Evaluate Markets

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Elad Gil (@eladgil), entrepreneur and investor, joins Erik and co-host Anuj Abrol (@nujabrol), Chief of Staff to Justin Kan, for a discussion of all things markets.

They start off talking about Elad’s philosophy of life and career in general, including why he says that “less happens than you think in 2 years, and more happens than you think in 5 years.” He points out that it’s hard to predict the future and says it’s impossible to say where he will be or what he will be doing 10 years from now.

Elad has a different way of looking at potential companies and investments than most investors. Rather than starting with the quality of founders, he starts by evaluating the quality of the market. He explains why this is important and how it has led to success for him as an entrepreneur and investor.

He talks about what makes a good market, and why “most startup markets have to be definitionally non-obvious.” They contrast the “Rabois School of Markets” versus the “Thiel School of Markets” and Elad gives his opinion on which markets are currently being ignored by Silicon Valley.

They finish with a rapid-fire round where they name a market and Elad gives his take on it, including VR, longevity, consumer social, and others.

Quotable Lines From This Episode

“Starting a company, at least for first-time founders, can really be an act of desperation.” — Elad

“Startups tend to fail at thing big companies are good at.” — Elad

“I see a lot of things done in professional services that should just be SaaS software.”  — Elad

We apologize for the audio quality of this episode. We ran into technical difficulties during recording.

Apr 30 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #12: Crypto Stories Live: Balaji Srinivasan and Erik Torenberg on Crypto in a Borderless World

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Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis), CTO of Coinbase, joined Erik on stage in San Francisco at the Founders Embassy Borderless Summit in June 2018 for a fascinating conversation about the coming impact of blockchain technology. They discuss how the world will change as work and entertainment — but especially finance — become virtual. Balaji explains why governments will need to compete for the best individuals and explains the new role of government in a “borderless” world.

He also discusses his recent exits and his new role as CTO of Coinbase. Balaji gives his surprising advice for new grads looking to start a company and explains why your “personal burn rate” is one of the most important metrics to track. Erik talks to Balaji about Balaji's lesser known history buff side and they discuss world finance, world history, and China.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Shawn Xu is our researcher, Colin Campbell is our audio engineer, and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Aug 15 2018

25mins

Play

Rank #13: Benchmark and Investing in Open Source with Eric Vishria and Chetan Puttagunta

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Eric Vishria (@ericvishria) and Chetan Puttagunta (@chetanp), general partners at Benchmark, join Erik on this episode.

They discuss:

- The unique partnership structure at Benchmark and how it has led to the continued success of the firm.

- Why they are purposefully not trying to scale the firm, unlike other venture firms.

- Their investments in open source, why the space is unique, and where the white space is.

- What will change in the future in open source and web infrastructure.

- Biotech as a space and some of the companies they’ve invested in.

- Why entering the healthcare market is fraught with difficulty in the US.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Dec 03 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #14: Mike Maples on Building Successful Startups and Venture Funds

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Erik is joined on this episode by Mike Maples (@m2jr) of Floodgate. They Discuss:

- Have all of the low hanging fruit of startup ideas been picked
- How do the best founders approach entrepreneurship
- Mike’s thoughts on the various conventional wisdoms of building startups
- The power of “change events” for startup creation
- How important is market timing
- How important is it for your idea to be non-consensus
- What makes a great founding team
- Can you predict product market fit
- Why do co-founder breakups happen and how do you prevent them
- How do you know when you have an insight that’s worth pursuing
- Thoughts on the Operator Angel movement
- What does VC look like a decade from now
- The relationship between VCs and their LPs
- Investing in non-tech businesses
- Can crypto disrupt the VC model
- Mental models for what makes a successful investor
Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg.

Jan 06 2020

1hr 17mins

Play

Rank #15: What Kevin Kwok Thinks About Basically Everything

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Kevin Kwok (@kevinakwok) is an investor at Greylock and one of the most expansive and intriguing minds around. In this episode Kevin and Erik talk about... basically everything, from the org chart of the future to the history of religion.

Along the way they discuss a number of topics, including:

- Why the stock market exists and why after the crash of 2008 no one said that we should shut it down.
- Why Amazon is starting to look like Berkshire Hathaway and whether it could be broken up and still run effectively.
- The ideas of "loops and funnels" and "constraints and compounding" — and how Kevin thinks about those mental models.
- The history of corporate structures and what they might look like in the future.
- What might be possible with crypto that was previously impossible without crypto, and why people seem to be only trying to replicate already-existing tech using crypto.
- Twitter, and why it's like being "on chain."
- How to think about your career and how the Valley's unique work culture has contributed to its success.
- The idea of personal ICOs.
- Why most companies think about the impact of PR on consumers when in reality they should think about PR's impact on recruiting.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Oct 05 2018

2hr

Play

Rank #16: The Future of Consumer, Dating Apps, and ISAs with Jeff Morris Jr.

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Jeff Morris Jr. (@jmj), Director of Product, Revenue at Tinder, and investor at Chapter One, joins Erik on this episode.

We sincerely apologize for the audio quality of this episode. We had technical difficulties with the recording.

They discuss:

- Using tech to bridge online and offline experiences.

- The idea of wellness as a status symbol.

- What $10B companies may have emerged ten years from now.

- The future of dating apps.

- Why he’s excited about ISAs.

- Why tech talent might need agents.

- What he’s learned from the best product and monetization people.

- Whether there’s a “Silicon Valley exodus” going on.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Aug 20 2019

53mins

Play

Rank #17: The State of Crypto in 2020 with Spencer Bogart and Brayton Williams

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Spencer Bogart (@CremeDeLaCrypto) of Blockchain Capital and Brayton Williams (@BraytonKey) of Boost VC, join Erik on this episode.

They discuss:

- Their analysis of the different eras of crypto and how the thinking of the people involved in the space has evolved.

- Whether the crypto bubble in 2017 can be compared to the internet bubble of 1999.

- Unpacking the Bitcoin-as-programmable money thesis.

- Specific problems that crypto is solving that they have invested in, as well as their requests for startups.

- How crypto can disrupt VC.

- What might have changed in the crypto space when looking back from 5 years in the future.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Feb 07 2020

58mins

Play

Rank #18: What Eugene Wei Thinks About Basically Everything

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This is a deep dive into the mind of Eugene Wei. Erik and Eugene discuss all kinds of topics, including the unique state of ambition in Silicon Valley, “apprenticeships” for white collar jobs, Eugene’s favorite fiction books, what he would do if he was running the New York Knicks, and much more.

They start by talking about the differences in extent and type of ambition between Silicon Valley and other places like New York or LA, as well as how you might spread the spirit of entrepreneurship that lives in the Valley further afield.

Eugene talks about the progression of his career and what kind of advice he would have for others. He talks about the twists and turns in his career and describes what it was like going back to film school after having worked at Amazon.

They talk about Eugene’s reading habits and the fact that he reads 20 non-fiction books at a time simultaneously. He also gives his recommendations on his favorite fiction books.

Eugene says that Jeff Bezos had a different young executive shadow him for a period of time and explains his idea of an “apprenticeship” for white collar jobs and the value of learning by observing.

They also have a round of underrated vs. overrated and Erik asks Eugene what he would do if he was running Medium, Spotify and the New York Knicks.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Oct 26 2018

56mins

Play

Rank #19: Investing in Space with Delian Asparouhov and Felix Ejeckam

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Delian Asparouhov (@zebulgar), investor at Founders Fund, and Felix Ejeckam (@felixejeckam), CEO of Akash Systems, join Erik on this episode.

They discuss:

- The market map of the space space.

- The evolution of the industry and how we got to where we are now.

- The incredible possibilities that can be enabled by the companies working in space today.

- What the “iPhone moment” could be for the industry.

- How the government interacts with the space and the implications for companies within it.

- Their predictions for when people might be living in space.

Remember to apply for the winter vintage of our Network Catalyst accelerator! It is a personalized program that features masterclasses from some of the best in Silicon Valley and a dedicated network leader focused on making the introductions you need to turbocharge your company. You can participate in-person in San Francisco or virtually from anywhere around the world.

Find out more and apply at villageglobal.vc/networkcatalyst.

Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform.

Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global, is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg and is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Nov 10 2019

49mins

Play

Rank #20: The State and Future of Fintech with Zach Perret and David Haber

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Erik is joined by Zach Perret (@zachperret), co-founder and CEO of Plaid, and David Haber (@dhaber), former co-founder and CEO of Bond Street, now at Goldman Sachs.

Zach and David talk about how they met and how they started their respective companies. They explain how to find out whether you are passionate enough about an idea to start a company around it: are you passionate about it enough to be willing to pound the table to get your mother-in-law to invest?

David points out that 90% of your work as a founder is selling — to investors, employees, customers, and many others. They talk about the future of financial services and fintech and make some predictions about what to expect in the space over the next several years. David and Zach share some tips for people building a company in the space on what works and what doesn’t, and how the space has evolved since they started their companies.

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Check us out on the web at villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.

Venture Stories is brought to you by Village Global and is hosted by co-founder and partner, Erik Torenberg. Colin Campbell is our audio engineer and the show is produced by Brett Bolkowy.

Apr 04 2019

55mins

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